Etching is the art of creating an image using an acid that removes metal. Depending on the substance used to destroy the surface of the material, the following etching methods are distinguished: chemical, electrochemical and ion-plasma.
Chemical method includes the use of special acid-based solutions. Industrial metal etching is used in the production of semiconductors, in the production of printed circuit boards and in the aerospace industry for the manufacture of aircraft components. Photochemical etching is a variation of this process, in which photolithography is a method of creating a pattern.
Electrochemical etching of metal involves the use of an electrolyte bath. It is filled with a special solution. This method has a number of advantages. First, the drawing is clearer, and the time required to complete the process is significantly reduced. One of the types of electric etching is artistic, which was used in the Middle Ages to decorate weapons and armor.
There is also an ion-plasma method (the so-called dry). In this case, the surface is damaged minimally. It is used in microelectronics. The ion-plasma method requires high-precision and expensive equipment and is used only in industrial production conditions. The liquid method, electrochemical etching of metal and even electrochemical engraving are also available at home.